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  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 6

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Exit, borne off by his Attendants
JOHN OF GAUNT is carried off the stage by his assistants.

KING RICHARD II

And let them die that age and sullens have;
140For both hast thou, and both become the grave.

KING RICHARD II

And let those who are old and gloomy die, and you, John of Gaunt, are both.

DUKE OF YORK

I do beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sickliness and age in him:
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry Duke of Hereford, were he here.

DUKE OF YORK

I beg you, your majesty, blame his words on his age and his sickness. I swear that he loves you and holds you as close to his heart as he does Harry Duke of Hereford.

KING RICHARD II

145Right, you say true: as Hereford’s love, so his;
As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.

KING RICHARD II

Right, what you say is true. Just as Harry holds me close to his heart, John of Gaunt must hold me also. And, in turn, I love both of them. That’s how it is.
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND
NORTHUMBERLAND enters.

NORTHUMBERLAND

My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your majesty.

NORTHUMBERLAND

My lord, Gaunt sends his regards to you.

KING RICHARD II

What says he?

KING RICHARD II

What did he say?

NORTHUMBERLAND

Nay, nothing; all is said
150His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
Words, life and all, old Lancaster hath spent.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Actually, he didn’t say anything. He can’t talk. He has died.

DUKE OF YORK

Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.

DUKE OF YORK

I hope that I will be the next to die! Death is terrible, but at least it stops the pain of living.

KING RICHARD II

The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
155His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
Which live like venom where no venom else
But only they have privilege to live.
160And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
Towards our assistance we do seize to us
The plate, corn, revenues and moveables,
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess’d.

KING RICHARD II

Gaunt is the first to die, just like the ripest fruit is always the first to fall off the tree. Well, that’s over with. Now, about the war in Ireland. We must get rid of those shaggy-haired Irish soldiers who live there. Let’s seize all of Gaunt’s money and property to help pay for the war.

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